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Behind-the-scenes on the buses
8:00am Monday 17th September 2012 in News
HOPPING on board a Network Warrington bus is something thousands of people do every day.
But not many are aware just what it takes to get that bus to the stop and the hundreds of employees who are on hand to make sure your journey to town and beyond runs smoothly and on time.
David Squire, managing director of Network Warrington, agrees.
He said: “People see the buses going past but don’t realise the effort that goes into making that happen.”
In total there are 270 people working both on the buses and behind the scenes, of which 190 are drivers.
And they are the most important part believes Mr Squire.
He said: “You get people saying ‘I’m only a driver’ but the drivers are the most important part of the business because they bring the money in and make the company work.”
Their role is crucial which is why the company has set up a rigourous training programme which has seen it win awards for its dedication.
“You are never too old to have training,” added Mr Squire.
“Training is available to everyone in the company. We have customer service NVQs for the drivers and the cleaners have their own NVQ.”
Over the past two years bus passengers will have noticed a quiet revolution taking hold in the way the company works.
With the introduction of Touch and Go – a payment card which means you do not have to carry money with you – as well as a car scrappage scheme which sees those who give up their car getting a six month bus pass, the company is looking at ways to increase passenger numbers.
In the coming months innovations including a new bus route linking areas like Lingley Mere and Chapelford in the west to Birchwood in the east will begin, offering a direct route to employment hubs in the borough.
And bringing the bus company well into the 21st century will be the addition of wifi across the fleet later this winter.
But at the heart of the company, celebrating its 110th year of running is its buses in the borough, is its core business.
“We see ourselves as part of the fabric of community,” said Mr Squire.